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Area 88 - Target 01 - Treacherous Skies

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It seemed that the sky was the limit for ace pilot Shin Kazama. His career with a wealthy commercial airliner was on the horizon, and he was ready to settle down to a comfortable life with his true love. Little did he know that he would soon be tricked into joining a motley crew of mercenary fighter pilots in the deadly skies of Area 88. Now the only way to get home is to complete the three year term or pay $1.5 million to break the contract.

The broadcast series Area 88 (2004) is the second adaptation of Kaoru Shintani's manga about the adventures of an airborne mercenary corps; a three-part OVA appeared in 1985. Photojournalist Makoto Shinjou comes to the center of the civil war ravaging the country of Aslan, to investigate fighter pilot Shin Kazama. Area 88 is a tough assignment: the pilots must serve three years or earn $1.5 million in bonuses for destroying enemy targets--minus the cost of fuel, housing, meals, etc. Director Isamu Imakake provides plenty of Top Gun-style action: high speed climbs, vertiginous dives, hairpin turns, and mid-air explosions. But Kazama is so taciturn and stoic, he's not terribly interesting; Shinjou's endless prying annoys the other members of the crew. The extras include specs of the planes, character biographies and an interview with Imakake and screenwriter Hiroshi Ohnogi. (Rated TV PG, suitable for ages 12 and older: violence, tobacco use, brief nudity) --Charles Solomon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Section 23
  • DVD Release Date: July 19, 2005
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009PLMB2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,407 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
It has been over a decade since I have watched the original three OAV's (originally released by US Manga Corps in the early 90's; based on clips compiled from the original television series) of the anime "AREA 88".

The story of "AREA 88" revolves around Shin Kazama. A pilot with a great future with Yamato Air Lines. He's engaged to marry with his boss's daughter, Ryoko.

Everything looks good for Shin until his friend Satoru Kanzaki gets him drunk and signs his life away to enlist with the Aslam Foreign Legion (AFL).

Now Shin Kazama is a pilot that is on daily missions to kill other pilots and destroy enemy headquarters to live.

Shin is now living a life where the only way to get out of the AFL is to get enough kills to buy your way out (US $1.5 million), survive until your term is up or escape (which usually leads to death).

Over 15 years later, a new television series featuring the adventures of Shin Kazama is now available on DVD courtesy of ADV Films.

The first volume features three episodes with a new storyline slightly different from the manga and original anime series.

With more characters introduced in the new anime series, one is Makoto Shinjou. A photographer who is on a mission to take a photo of the face of a dead Shin Kazama. A mission that was given to him none other than by Shin's nemesis Kanzaki.

Of course, Shinjou doesn't know the history between Shin and Kanazaki but nevertheless, the storyline now incorporates this character to show how the toll of war and destruction are affecting the pilots and those who live at the Aslam Foreign Legion headquarters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 17, 2005
Format: DVD
Shin Kazama was a commercial airline pilot until his so-called 'best friend' tricked him into joining a fighter squad called Area 88. Makoto Shinjou is a photographer exploring Area 88 and finding out more about this fighter squad. This DVD contains the first three episodes: Sky Blue, Boris, and Shin and Makoto. You can see the series on The Anime Network if you've got it, like I do, but if you don't and you like the Area 88 OAV but don't have the TV series, you can buy it for $20-30 dollars. This anime is a thrill seeking drama and the story starts developing.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Should be okay for 12 years and up for general warfare violence, disturbing images in the second episode, alcohol use, language, a politically correct tone, and some very brief nudity in the first opening sequence.
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Format: DVD
Makoto Shinjo is a war photographer that shows no fear when it comes to capturing the essence of his subject, even if his life is on the line. He's come to the desert of Aslan to document the lives and battles of the mercenary pilots fighting against anti-government forces. It's pretty easy to sign up as a mercenary but very hard to get out after you agree to a 3 year tour of duty. You can break the contract early IF you pay the sum of 1.5 million dollars. Even though the pilots are paid very well for every enemy they shoot down and various missions they fly, they are also required to pay for room and board, food, weapons, and maintenence of their aircraft. So it's very hard for them to save up any amount of money. And that's just how the government forces like it. To have the mercenaries underfoot and in debt. Even if they allow them to break the contract they still get a million dollars to hire another one. Makoto is focused on one pilot in particular, Shin Kazama, the only Japanese pilot on the base, and one of the most enigmatic. He doesn't have much to say but he is possibly the best flyer of the whole group. The only things we know about him is that he is utterly miserable working for Aslan and is desperate to get back to a woman in Japan.

As is the problem for most first volume anime dvds that only contain 3 episodes, there is a shortage of material to truly judge the merit of the series. If you enjoyed movies like Top Gun or Stealth or the anime Yukikaze, you'll most likely enjoy Area 88. If dogfighting jets are not your cup of tea, then you would do best to avoid Area 88. The jets are all CG and look quite nice, if a little cold and flimsy, but they make you feel at times as if you are watching a promo video for the latest Ace Combat videogame.
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Format: DVD
So I've been a big fan of Area 88 ever since the original anime came out in the 80's. It had a gripping plotline, superb character development, and great combat scenes. Too bad they made only one of the three volumes into a DVD.

I was extremely elated at the news that ADV films was going to remake Area 88. After I watched the entire series, I must admit that I was a little disappointed, but found it still very entertaining to watch, and that's the reason why I still give it a 4.

There were a couple of things about the new series that I did not like. First of all, the original series was rated MA, meaning it was meant for the mature viewers. The blood, violence, nudity, and language all added to the dark, desperate tone of the original series. However, with the new Area 88 series, the rating was a TVPG. Not even a TV PG-13. Wow, this change took a lot out from what I believe the original creator had intended. I felt like it was a watered-down version of the original series.

Secondly, the new series had new characters and left out some of the old characters from the original series. I actually liked the new characters a lot. They added a lot to the plot and discreetly revealed some key elements about the main character, Shin Kazama. However, the mere fact that some of the original characters were taken out infuriated me. They had contributed so much in terms of character development and unfolding of some of the mysteries in the story.

Having said that, I do not want to judge this series in comparison to the original series. Instead, I rate it on its own at 4.

I still recommend watching this anime. It's a great series.
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Area 88 - Target 01 - Treacherous Skies
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